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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 19, 2012 10:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Worth a read (and look)

To some extent he has done it a little bit already. There was his poem, 'An American Adventure:'

To hear it read (to allow for multi-tasking; I've listened to it while doing the dishes!):

Very wonderful, very moving imo. Filled with an objectivity of sorts
but minus the 'naming of names.' And he even playfully levels the playing field by taking a shot at all who attempt to recall, including himself, when he mentions the sidewalks of the Haight being made of "inch-thick shamrock glass."
I'll use it in support of my seconding your motion that he's The Guy to satisfy the 'still waiting for a book by a writer with both the chops and the inclination for nuanced insight that goes beyond straight story-telling' criteria.
What a freakin' read that would be. Talk about a unique perspective. As LIA points out this guy goes back to the '60-'61 coffee house circuit w/ Jerry, farther back than any who may lay claim to insider status, and was a member of the band for all intents and purposes given the years '65 and beyond, which eliminates alot of other coffee house era friends....
That perch teamed with a writer's sensibility (to say the least) and, for my money, a bullshit detector second to none would make any other nominee more of a pretender than contender it would seem.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 19, 2012 12:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Worth a read (and look)

Of course, Lesh fit the bill as well...

Word is that Bill Kreutzmann is supposed to write a memoir to be published in 2015.
I think Weir's also said he might write one, though I have my doubts about him...

Hunter, alas, prefers the short form - the poem, the journal jottings, memories thrown off incidentally...

Ironically, Hunter wrote to Garcia back in '96, "Could I write a book about you? No. Didn't know you well enough. Let those who knew you even less write them."

But then, that was a statement 'for show.' Here's one 1995 interview about his poetry - -
"Jerry and I have been hanging out since we were 18 and 19 respectively, and I know him as well as I know any other human being. We were folk singers together, and I know what kind of song he loves. So when I give him something I'll give him something that I have a high degree of suspicion that he will love--and sometimes I'm right."

"I would say I was real good friends with Neal Cassady... But I was too young for that scene, and although Jerry and I and the guys all considered ourselves Beatniks back in the old days, I mean, Christ, we were eighteen or nineteen--we couldn't have been real Beatniks. There weren't any hippies yet. We were in that in-between state. We had little beards. We were doing what we could."

And on 'American Adventure':
"That poem began as the Grateful Dead was going to release a set of CDs of everything that they'd done. Some new stuff, and vault tapes, plus all the old records, in a 3 CD set, which is something that didn't happen in the end. I was asked if I would write liner notes for each of the three sections. I just hit the page, and wrote in a really free manner, and I liked very much what I had come up with. Then when the CD set didn't go, a year or two later I took out the things that were album-specific and kept the sociological stuff--the adventure. It's recognizably the band I'm talking about, being interchangeable for our generation...
It's time to...get that down in a way that is not going to require a lot of rewriting. For the time being, I'm intending to fly with the speed of light through stuff."

In his journals there are occasional dips into the past - for instance here's one year, 2006, when he was writing a novel:

2/23/06 - how Friend of the Devil was written. "The NRPS had asked me if I wanted to play bass with them and it seemed like a good idea at the time... Although I learned all the tunes, I never did play a gig with the NRPS, who were doing strictly club dates at the time. For one reason or another I never quite fathomed, though I have my suspicions, I got shut out. Either that or I misread the signs and wasn't inclined to push. Nothing was ever said."

6/7/06 - "A shelf of books could be written and still only lightly perturb the surface of who the Grateful Dead were, are, and why. A book must have a point of view and I submit there is none extant sufficiently wide and informed to do more than tease curiosity. That possibility probably passed with Ramrod. Think of something approaching your own life's complexity of nuance and multiply it by the number of characters in our scene, past and present, and put the spotlight of the world on it - see what I mean? There is an official Grateful Dead story, chronological highlights which are largely, and rightly, Garcia oriented, but no possibility of a comprehensive estimation...
But there are names involved and when those names are sullied, the people bearing them feel distress... In a lose/lose situation wisdom dictates keeping one's own council. Hence the relative silence regarding most internal matters."
[This reminds me how in Phil's book, he hardly ever says a bad word about anyone, but is always kind & diplomatic.]

6/29/06 - "Did I ever tell you the story of how there almost was no Jerry Garcia? We were in our late teens and Jerry had definitely decided to go pro but he was worried about his name... Contemplating a career in folk and old timey music, he felt that the name Garcia might be a hindrance to his acceptance in the form. He was seriously wondering if it might be a good idea to use his mother's maiden name, Clifford..."

3/17/07 - "The most I ever enjoyed money came when, after working for the GD as a songwriter at fifty dollars a week, I got a seventy-five grand advance after Workingman's Dead was released. I thought I was set for life. Bought a new Saab for twenty-five hundred, cash. The next day somebody put an egg in the gas tank at a huge party up at Mickey's ranch."

There you go, Hunter's mini-memoirs!

And, lastly, this is a hilarious parody of the Dead's early history, written as screenplay fragments:

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 19, 2012 2:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Worth a read (and look)

After reading your first line I started digging in to, in the most respectful manner possible, disagree completely. Then you got around to stating my case before I could get to it: "[This reminds me how in Phil's book, he hardly ever says a bad word about anyone, but is always kind & diplomatic.]" As Althea stated earlier in the thread "if it's honest, it'll be hurtful, and if it's not honest, it won't be worth doing ..."
If that doesn't sum up Phil's book I don't know what does.

This was powerful as far as Hunter's direct opinion on the matter is concerned: "But there are names involved and when those names are sullied, the people bearing them feel distress... In a lose/lose situation wisdom dictates keeping one's own council. Hence the relative silence regarding most internal matters." Hadn't seen that before.

Rereading 'American Adventure' the thought I had was I'd love to read something similar- short form memoir if you will- but of a more recent vintage. Would love his take on all-things-17-years-down-the-road from ground zero. He showed in AA how you can at least brush up to "internal matters" without dropping names: $!000.00 for band member Meet-and-Greets? And calling it 'Total Immersion?' Good heavens. Is the money going to save the rainforests or the whales? Would some of these good folks be riding so high in the saddle if Jerry were still around? It's Hunter's gig for sure- he is clearly what's left of the scenes conscience.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Sep 19, 2012 3:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Worth a read (and look)

Why should Hunter write a memoir? It would only compete with what I assume he holds dear, the lyrics he wrote for Garcia et al. His masterpiece or create antagonistic energy that could never be healed and would never leave for a little money?

I understand that Garcia's motive for being as member of the GD by the '90's was money.